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solzberg in Gainers & Losers,

Shares of Tyson Foods to hit $80 mark in medium term

I remain upbeat about the shares of Tyson Foods, one of the world largest producers of beef, pork and chicken. The company has been posting better-than-expected results over the past several quarters, backed by continuous product innovation and strong momentum in most of its business segments.

In its fiscal 2016 second quarter, Tyson’s earnings and revenues surpassed consensus estimate supported by higher margins. In particular, operating margin expanded 220 basis points to a record 7.7% driven by better operational execution and lower feed ingredient costs in the quarter. Adjusted earnings per share of $1.07 beat analysts’ average projection of 96 cents and improved 42.7% y-o-y. Importantly, the company increased its annual EPS guidance and, now, expects it in the range of $4.20-4.30 in fiscal 2016, compared with the earlier estimated range of $3.85-3.95.

Strong cash flows allowed Tyson to repurchase 6.9 mn shares for $400 mn during the reported quarter. Besides, to ensure shareholder trust, management has been raising dividend consistently for the last five years at an average annual rate of 11.5%. In November 2015, Tyson announced a rise of 50% in its quarterly dividend to 15 cents per share, which offers annualized dividend yield of 0.8%. Starting fiscal 2017, Tyson expects to raise its annual dividend by 10 cents per year.

Tyson continuously innovates while adding new products to the already rich food lineup. Management has focused on innovation, making it an important facet of their growth strategy. The company intends to launch an extension of the Hillshire Snacking platform, and a new Tyson Naturals line of frozen chicken products featuring all-natural ingredients, that too with no antibiotics. Both will come in September 2017. This is expected to boost initiatives in the coming quarters.

Shares of Tyson broke $70 resistance level recently and, I believe, are well positioned to hit $80 mark in medium term.